The GetDPI Photography Forum

Great to see you here. Join our insightful photographic forum today and start tapping into a huge wealth of photographic knowledge. Completing our simple registration process will allow you to gain access to exclusive content, add your own topics and posts, share your work and connect with other members through your own private inbox! And don’t forget to say hi!

Behind the picture: share your thinking

rdeloe

Well-known member
We have a long-running “behind the scenes” thread, which is a good way to share short posts about equipment. I thought it might be fun and interesting to start a “behind the picture” thread for sharing the thinking that went into one of your images.

Posts should get into what you were trying to do, and why. The picture you write about doesn’t have to be a brilliant success, and the thread isn’t about seeking feedback. Rather, it’s about getting under the hood of your thinking.
 

rdeloe

Well-known member
Here’s an example to start the thread. I’ve walked and driven past this scene often. It’s the end point of a quick walk I’ll take during the day to get a break, and it’s on the way to and from the office. Every day, thousands of people drive and walk by this spot.

R. de Loe GFXB6948.jpg

This isn’t a photograph I’m going to print large and frame, but it’s a good one to start this thread because so much of what I like about photography came together in the image.

The artless pruning of the cedar trees to allow the wires to run on the pole creates something that resembles an anatomical drawing, but instead of the inside of a human body, it’s the “guts” of the forest that are revealed. That’s the element of the scene that caught and held my eye.

I like making images that leave some questions or mystery for the viewer. Why were the trees cut away like that? Why is there a ramshackle log fence in the woods? What’s coming that requires a guardrail? What’s that corrugated pipe doing that takes a 90 degree turn and heads into the woods in the middle? These are not profound mysteries! But I think they help to make a mundane scene a bit less obvious.

I like contrasts, and in this scene the contrast between the organic, natural elements and the human elements is strong. With the exception of the pole holding the wires, the human features are hard, linear and metal or plastic. The organic features are soft, curvy and messy.

The framing of the scene created by the road and guardrail at bottom, the two posts at left and right, and the wires at the top is essential to what I wanted from this image. To my mind, this specific framing helps to create a “nature boxed in” feeling, as does the fact that the human features are superimposed in a layer over the forest that makes clear what matters (infrastructure) and what doesn’t (nature).

I like a bit of visual tension in my photographs. In this image, my eye is pulled left by the guardrail, and right by the absent pole that must be holding up the drooping wires. I'm not sure most people will see that, but as I studied a print of the image I had beside me for the last couple days, I noticed that the opposing directions of pull helped to keep my eyes moving around the scene.

This is a medium format forum, so I’ll note that while I’m sure this would have worked with a smaller format camera, the detail that a good lens on a 100MP 33mm x 44mm sensor offers is part of what makes the image work for me. The detail just goes on and on, which helps keep the eye of someone who enjoys an immersive experience. Not every photograph needs that, but I think this one does.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, this image works for me because it’s an example of the kind of photography I enjoy making the most. It’s an ordinary, mundane place, but even in these ordinary places, there are interesting things we can see if we only look.
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
Great idea for a thread.

This is difficult for me because I almost never think about a shot before taking it. A voice in my head - not a hallucination, but close - says "You just passed a picture. Go back and capture it!" One of the very few counterexamples is this:



It's a well known (and photographed) underpass in Central Park leading to the Bethesda Fountain. I wanted to make the individuals in the crowd visible, so put the camera on an 8-foot RRS monopod. The usual PoV would have everyone at the same level. The high camera also changes the geometry of the converging lines on the floor and ceiling, making them more equal.

Leica S3 with the S 24/3.5.
 

Abstraction

Well-known member


I saw these two trees behind the barbed wire fence and I loved how the barbed wire cut across the trees. I looked for a good angle and I realized that the house is made up of horizontal and vertical lines. I wanted the fence to cut through the house and the trees. Then, I decided I wanted the tree to cut through the house vertically. I carefully framed the image to have the tree cut at the edge of the window. As I was deciding where to place the right edge of the frame, I noticed the two poles in the background being cut horizontally by the barbed wire fence at the bottom and connected by cables at the top. That's when I knew I had this shot. Funny enough, I still don't know if I nailed it, but I really love it.
 

corvus

Active member
Yes, I think it's an interesting thread too !!

This picture shows the inside corner of a building with wood paneling and in front of it a cantilevered part of the building made of Corten steel.
When searching for the image section, I was literally drawn to the point of view where the differently aligned surfaces were combined to form a graphic. The dimensions seem to blur.
When I look at buildings, I somehow often look for viewpoints like this. The three-dimensional has become something two-dimensional again ... perhaps as a counterpart to the beginning of the process when the project was designed - only in reverse.

240516 getdpi.jpg
 

rdeloe

Well-known member
Yes, I think it's an interesting thread too !!

This picture shows the inside corner of a building with wood paneling and in front of it a cantilevered part of the building made of Corten steel.
When searching for the image section, I was literally drawn to the point of view where the differently aligned surfaces were combined to form a graphic. The dimensions seem to blur.
When I look at buildings, I somehow often look for viewpoints like this. The three-dimensional has become something two-dimensional again ... perhaps as a counterpart to the beginning of the process when the project was designed - only in reverse.
I'm trying not to clog up the thread with too many responses because it will be better if it's mostly posts from people with examples... but (1) this I really like -- nicely done; and (2) I think you might enjoy the work of a Canadian photographer named Ned Pratt. His book, One Wave, has a lot of wonderful examples of the kind of image you seem to like.
 

Shashin

Well-known member
This is an interesting idea. This is from a series I took of Tokyo when I returned to the city for about a month. I had lived in Tokyo for about 10 years but I needed to return to take these images. Before returning to Tokyo, I had been doing a lot of natural landscape work in Maine. I wanted to take the landscape genre and apply it to the urban landscape. Perviously, I took a more usual documentary approach to urban photography. Also in this set of images, I made the choice to use long exposures, whether at night of in the day, to indicate the natural elements in the landscape versus the artificial--basically, the natural elements--water, plants, and animals--would blur in the exposure, leaving the artificial element still.



What I found fascinating is how layered the city was. The particular image is of the entrance to Atago shrine that was built on a small hill overlooking Tokyo Bay in the 1600s. People would climb the shrine for the views. It is now surrounded by tall buildings and the view of the bay is no more.

The thing I enjoy about this is that there is still the natural element to the image. The tree intersects the urban environment, giving just a hint of the development behind it. It even overwhelms the Torii gate marking the entrance to the shrine. Even in one of the most developed landscapes in the world, nature can still be powerful.

Also from this series, just to illustrate the underlying concept used in the exposure is Kasai Rinkan Park. An artificial island built in Tokyo Bay to preserve the natural environment of the bay that has been displaced by development. I also enjoy irony.

 

corvus

Active member
I'm trying not to clog up the thread with too many responses because it will be better if it's mostly posts from people with examples... but (1) this I really like -- nicely done; and (2) I think you might enjoy the work of a Canadian photographer named Ned Pratt. His book, One Wave, has a lot of wonderful examples of the kind of image you seem to like.
Thank you, Rob! I'll take a look at Ned Pratt's work.
 

f6cvalkyrie

Well-known member
This image comes from a continuing series called "The skin of the trees" ... the idea came during a walk in the forest with a friend (and a dog), and I found the un-edited pictures rather boring abstracts ... so, I set up an editing routine that made the images much more colourful, and remained with that routine ever since ... this is one of the latest I shot ...

Stay safe,
Rafael

 
Yes, I think it's an interesting thread too !!

This picture shows the inside corner of a building with wood paneling and in front of it a cantilevered part of the building made of Corten steel.
When searching for the image section, I was literally drawn to the point of view where the differently aligned surfaces were combined to form a graphic. The dimensions seem to blur.
When I look at buildings, I somehow often look for viewpoints like this. The three-dimensional has become something two-dimensional again ... perhaps as a counterpart to the beginning of the process when the project was designed - only in reverse.

View attachment 213002
Fantastic image!
 

cunim

Well-known member
OK, here's an image that I I posted a version of a while ago. I do not think anyone has ever given a like to it. One photographer's tortured response - "It certainly shows a unique viewpoint".

Why do I like it? It's a story. I see a prehistoric saurian clinging to a lightpole that he loves hopelessly, passionately. His face is contorted in terror because, just to his right, a giant squirrel monster disguised as a tree is running towards him. In contrast, the lightpole, the street sign and the surroundings are utterly banal. Welcome to my world.

For me, the most important aspect of a photo is the narrative. Doesn't much matter if it is pretty or well-composed or has artistic merit. Something needs to be going on and a successful photo shows what I might have missed otherwise. I guess this viewpoint shows just how far I have strayed. Fortunately, I don't have to sell this stuff.

climberfinal.jpg
 

Fredrick

Well-known member
All right, I'll bite as well.

So I shot this picture a few days ago, the day after having experienced a severe panic attack. My motivations for this picture was and are purely selfish.
I wanted to go for a walk in the mountains I grew up to calm my mind. Even before I left home I had an idea of what I wanted this image to be.
In the middle of May there are a few days when the spring colours are at peak. This is when there are the most variations in the shades of green.
My goal was the capture the contrasting shades of green against the blue hue of the early morning landscape. I think I achieved this quite well.
The backlit trees serves as a gateway to the rest of the scene.

There are a lot of compositional things which I like about this image. For instance I like how the foreground resembles a triangle, which mirrors the mountain range.
I am especially fond of how I managed to create a juxtaposition between the trees in the right hand side of the frame, and the mountain in the background.
I'm probably wrong about a lot when it comes to this image, but it has served as soothing therapy for me. Thanking for creating this thread, Rob.

Now some technical stuff. This was shot on a Nikon D850, Nikon 50mm f/1.4 @ f/8, 1/40 sec, iso 64 and a polarisingfilter.

 

rdeloe

Well-known member
All right, I'll bite as well.

So I shot this picture a few days ago, the day after having experienced a severe panic attack. My motivations for this picture was and are purely selfish.
I wanted to go for a walk in the mountains I grew up to calm my mind. Even before I left home I had an idea of what I wanted this image to be.
In the middle of May there are a few days when the spring colours are at peak. This is when there are the most variations in the shades of green.
My goal was the capture the contrasting shades of green against the blue hue of the early morning landscape. I think I achieved this quite well.
The backlit trees serves as a gateway to the rest of the scene.

There are a lot of compositional things which I like about this image. For instance I like how the foreground resembles a triangle, which mirrors the mountain range.
I am especially fond of how I managed to create a juxtaposition between the trees in the right hand side of the frame, and the mountain in the background.
I'm probably wrong about a lot when it comes to this image, but it has served as soothing therapy for me. Thanking for creating this thread, Rob.

Now some technical stuff. This was shot on a Nikon D850, Nikon 50mm f/1.4 @ f/8, 1/40 sec, iso 64 and a polarisingfilter.

What a lovely post Frederick. The image is beautiful; the greens really come through, as do the layers you worked with. Shutter therapy is a good thing. ;) I use it all the time.
 

corvus

Active member
I'm trying not to clog up the thread with too many responses because it will be better if it's mostly posts from people with examples... but (1) this I really like -- nicely done; and (2) I think you might enjoy the work of a Canadian photographer named Ned Pratt. His book, One Wave, has a lot of wonderful examples of the kind of image you seem to like.
Ned Pratt's work is right up my alley :) Thanks!

Since I really like the theme of this thread, I'd like to share another small sequence of images, but one that is completely contrary to my usual approach:
One day I found a completely expired efke IR 820 Aura infrared film in my closet. I experimented a little in the garden and the residents of the neighboring property found great interest in it. They followed me, put themselves in the right light and posed ... I decided to photograph the film normally without an IR filter. I also left the development to a simple standard service provider.


240602 getdpi - 1.jpg240602 getdpi - 2.jpg240602 getdpi - 3.jpg

So now you know what's going on in our garden ;)
 

rdeloe

Well-known member
Ned Pratt's work is right up my alley :) Thanks!

Since I really like the theme of this thread, I'd like to share another small sequence of images, but one that is completely contrary to my usual approach:
One day I found a completely expired efke IR 820 Aura infrared film in my closet. I experimented a little in the garden and the residents of the neighboring property found great interest in it. They followed me, put themselves in the right light and posed ... I decided to photograph the film normally without an IR filter. I also left the development to a simple standard service provider.

So now you know what's going on in our garden ;)
This set works so well. Individually, they're all good photos, and the grainy film approach works perfectly. But the reason I spent some time looking at them is they tell a story about some goats that were very interested in the apples on the tree.

That's one of the things I enjoy the most about photography. We can do our best to arrange things to say what we want to say, but then it's out of our hands. Perhaps what I saw, and the story I wrote into the pictures, is not at all what you meant to say. Maybe nobody else reads the same story into these images. But here we are.

I'm glad you liked Ned's work. Some people have described it as forced and sterile. I don't see it that way at all. The simplicity of the images and the care with which they are composed appeal to me
 
Last edited:

corvus

Active member
2010-06-13_130113.jpg

This picture shows the construction stage of a striking department store building in Leipzig, Germany. Popularly known as a tin can or affectionately known in Saxon as a "Bemmbüchse" (bread box).

.

At the beginning of this century, it was decided to replace the building and then reuse the metal facade from the 1970s in a new shopping mall. In 2010, the metal panels were dismantled and an even older facade of a department store from 1909 from the Wilhelminian period was revealed. During the socialist era, the bread box was simply put over it. This sparked a debate about which part and which era should have priority in monument preservation. Ultimately, the tin can is what it is today - but a 15m long section of the old facade was preserved in a kind of shop window.

I have captured this contradiction in the picture. I converted it to black and white in order to work out the contrast graphically and somewhat dramatically. The metal panels have already been removed here and especially in the left part you can see the old facade from 1909. Even in real life it already appeared very dark, so that it is only visible at second glance.
 

lookbook

Well-known member
Here’s an example to start the thread. I’ve walked and driven past this scene often. It’s the end point of a quick walk I’ll take during the day to get a break, and it’s on the way to and from the office. Every day, thousands of people drive and walk by this spot.

View attachment 212974

This isn’t a photograph I’m going to print large and frame, but it’s a good one to start this thread because so much of what I like about photography came together in the image.

The artless pruning of the cedar trees to allow the wires to run on the pole creates something that resembles an anatomical drawing, but instead of the inside of a human body, it’s the “guts” of the forest that are revealed. That’s the element of the scene that caught and held my eye.

I like making images that leave some questions or mystery for the viewer. Why were the trees cut away like that? Why is there a ramshackle log fence in the woods? What’s coming that requires a guardrail? What’s that corrugated pipe doing that takes a 90 degree turn and heads into the woods in the middle? These are not profound mysteries! But I think they help to make a mundane scene a bit less obvious.

I like contrasts, and in this scene the contrast between the organic, natural elements and the human elements is strong. With the exception of the pole holding the wires, the human features are hard, linear and metal or plastic. The organic features are soft, curvy and messy.

The framing of the scene created by the road and guardrail at bottom, the two posts at left and right, and the wires at the top is essential to what I wanted from this image. To my mind, this specific framing helps to create a “nature boxed in” feeling, as does the fact that the human features are superimposed in a layer over the forest that makes clear what matters (infrastructure) and what doesn’t (nature).

I like a bit of visual tension in my photographs. In this image, my eye is pulled left by the guardrail, and right by the absent pole that must be holding up the drooping wires. I'm not sure most people will see that, but as I studied a print of the image I had beside me for the last couple days, I noticed that the opposing directions of pull helped to keep my eyes moving around the scene.

This is a medium format forum, so I’ll note that while I’m sure this would have worked with a smaller format camera, the detail that a good lens on a 100MP 33mm x 44mm sensor offers is part of what makes the image work for me. The detail just goes on and on, which helps keep the eye of someone who enjoys an immersive experience. Not every photograph needs that, but I think this one does.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, this image works for me because it’s an example of the kind of photography I enjoy making the most. It’s an ordinary, mundane place, but even in these ordinary places, there are interesting things we can see if we only look.
... i'm sure i can't find a single picture in my collection that i've taken with a similar explanation!
I'm sorry, after reading what you wrote, that I can't show anything meaningful that corresponds to your very good thought - .
I don't think your photo is beautiful - but it is very good!!!
Thanks for the inspiration ...
 

Rand47

Well-known member
I will often go somewhere to photograph with at least a vague sense of what I want to capture. The “tree tunnel” at Point Reyes National Seashore was one of those places. In my mind’s eye I “pictured” this tree tunnel as being in some wooded area where there were lots of trees. Wrong. It is on a plateau of sorts with 100% bracken and scrub - and then all of a sudden there’s this blacktop road leading to a building that is lined with these large cypress trees.

I’d seen many photos of this area before, and originally wanted a sort of comprehensive view of it.

IMG_1947.jpeg
Like this.

But the result was unsatisfying for some reason. It needed “atmosphere” and to somehow be distilled to something elemental about the place. I went there 5 times over 4 days at different times of day.

This is one of my final images:
IMG_1948.jpeg
I’m happy with this image. It conveys more of the feel of the place. Fog was a combination of persistence and luck.

Another image from this trip was the iconic (over shot?) Pt. Reyes fishing boat at Inverness. It’s been shot a zillion times, but I wanted my own take. I shot every which-away on this and ended up with this image:

IMG_1941.jpeg

Simple composition, but took a lot of “thinking a bout it” to end up with this particular image. First, that little bulge in the sand in the foreground was positioned in the frame to feel (to me at least) like a little bow wave for the boat. Next was where the boot stripe (waterline) of the boat is placed so that it is exactly in line with the edge of the sand in the foreground. Not sure why these elements ended up being important to me, but they are. The last thinking in this frame concerned how much of the other side of the boat, beyond the bow stem to include so that there was some sense of the volume of the hull.

Rand
 
Top